“We’re the generation of the internet and have information available to us instantly, but it’s incredibly important to listen to and learn from the wisdom older generations can share with us. Sharing a meal together is the perfect vehicle for those conversations.”Thomas Breault, PDHS Grade 12 Student
Thomas Breault is one of 14 members of the Paris District High School’s student council, which recently hosted their annual inter-generational holiday dinner.
The dinner invitation was extended to all residents of area retirement communities. The evening included music, special guests, food and most importantly, the opportunity to share and enjoy a sense of community spanning generations.
Brant County OPP brought their expertise to protect and serve to the event quite literally. OPP Constable, Ken Johnston, along with a handful of his colleagues delivered turkey dinners to each table, as well as escorted all elderly attendees in and out of the school safely. “This is a great event that kicks off the holiday season for us,” Johnston says. “It’s an honour to serve the community in this way. This dinner is a lot of effort on the part of the school’s staff and students, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”
“The older I get, the more outrageous I get. It’s not that you stop caring, it’s just that you stop being so self-conscious.”Cheryl, Retirement Community Resident
With a background of holiday music, the meal also offered some lively discussion about the history and evolution of the area among the students and seniors. Entertainment was also provided when Santa and Mrs. Claus appeared, only to face-off with the Grinch who was eventually banished.
An integral piece to the Grand Erie Board of Education’s multi-year plan is community, so events such as this holiday dinner play an important role in meeting that goal. According to the plan, participation with the community also enhances the learning experiences of students.
“We think of the holidays as a busy time with family and friends, but it can also be a very lonely time of year for many. The connections you can make during a meal are truly valuable, and it’s special for us as students to be a part of it.”Thomas Breault, PDHS Grade 12 Student